Criminal Justice FAQ

Q: What types of jobs will I be qualified for after receiving my Associates degree?

Students who complete their associate’s degree would be able to pursue careers in law enforcement, corrections, juvenile justice, and court services.

Q: Do criminal justice agencies require a college degree?

Each individual agency has its own education requirements. Many agencies are now requiring a minimum of 60 credit hours of college education. Some agencies even require bachelors or masters degrees. Students should look at the minimum educational requirements of the agencies they are interested in applying for.

Q: What if I have a criminal record or moving violations, can I still work in the criminal justice system?

Individual agencies have certain disqualifying violations in their background requirements. Convictions involving drunk driving, drug possession or domestic abuse are serious charges and can be disqualifying factors. Certain moving violations resulting in suspensions, revocations, or disqualifications can also be disqualifying factors. Each individual agency will evaluate other violations based on their merit.

Q: What is usually involved in the hiring process to a criminal justice agency?

Each individual agency has and follows its own hiring process. Many agencies have pre-employment exams, physical fitness test, interview panels, background investigations, and medical exams. This process can take many months.

Q: What do they look at in a background investigation?

When applicants go through a background investigation, departments usually are checking verification of information that the applicant included in their employment packet. This may include items such as work history, financial history, criminal history, education background, and personal/work references.

Q: What types of activities are apart of the physical fitness exam?

Many agencies follow set standards that involve a timed run, push-ups, sit-ups, and flexibility. Some use obstacle courses involving similar activities. Students should check the hiring standards of the respective agencies they are considering applying for.

Q: Do I have to go to an academy?

Most criminal justice agencies have training academics that new employees must attend. These range in length and are designed to educate new employees in job duties directly related to that type of employment. Many of these are employer sponsored and you have to be hired first before attending.

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